I ain't your dinner bell.

Red River Brewery 
#1
The name of the park had been an ironic flag post of it's own and when she had first seen it on the map she thought there was no way that it could be that obvious but the further out she got the more it looked like this was going to be it. From pavement to dirt trails her bike handled it exactly like you'd expect the brain child of a street bike and a dirt bike would so at least she had that going for her.

Two moons national park had turned out to be the perfect little get away and the best part of it was that it felt safe and free from any controlling packs that may not like a young rogue wolf visiting. Alexis had intentionally avoided everything with (or without) a heart beat from the beginning with the intention of avoiding running into the wrong folks before she knew they where the wrong ones, it wasn't as if she was making the choice to be the outcast but it had become a reality when the pack back home had targeted her. It hadn't been all bad at least, she did learn the important lesson of the day:'keep your head down and you get to keep your head' or something like that.

With the next full moon plotted out she spun her bike around and headed back down the trails until the forests gave way to civilization, at some point she was going to have to find a hotel for the night but she had one more important errand that needed some attention. Her stomach was grumbling. Crossing the border into a strange pack's territory came with a warning that felt like a punch to the gut but without the physical pain to match it, she hit the breaks hard and seriously contemplated the idea of trying to avoid it but the sun was setting and she was damn hungry.

The rest of the ride in had probably counted for one of the most paranoid and careful stretches she had taken since she had left her old home but so far no one had confronted her and the guy at the gas station even suggested a place to get some quick food. Pulling into the parking lot of the brewery gave her enough of a warning that this was probably going to be interesting but she had to meet some of the other locals sooner or later anyway.

Alex had to double check the address before she walked in through the doors but once inside she was pleasantly surprised to see what would appear to be your average brewery and nobody in it seemed to care that she walked in the door (yet). Perfect. Once she had found a little two seater table she set her helmet down in the empty chair and then ordered the biggest burger they had on the menu. Food, don't piss off anyone and get out.
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#2
In light of Julie not exactly having somewhere to live, dining at the brewery had become a regular occurrence lately. The prices were fair for the quality of the food, and she felt at ease in the pack-owned establishment that served well enough to pass the time. However, the young woman was under no illusion that she wasn't leading a particularly sustainable or healthy lifestyle by means of eating at the brewery, showering at the gym, and sleeping in her car. Sooner or later, she would have to actually do something about it.

Yet, she was adamant about eking out such an existence from one day to the next for the time being.

Having finished off her evening meal, the young woman nursed a beer and contemplated heading out before the entrance swung open, signaling the arrival of yet another patron. Julie usually didn't think twice about the innumerable customers who came and went at all hours of the day, but tonight's newest arrival carried the scent and presence of a wolf.

A rogue.

Watching from her usual table near the back, Julie observed the newcomer with something like curiosity in her eyes. Appearing not much older than Julie herself, the redheaded rogue was quick to take a seat and order a meal without drawing much attention, but the stranger had unintentionally wandered into the wolves' pen.

Julie, both curious and cautious in equal measure, decided to investigate; she suspected that it would only be a matter of time before one of her packmates did the same. The young woman approached with a casual gait as her head lolled to the side somewhat.

Upon arriving to the rogue's table, Julie glanced at the empty seat occupied by the motorcycle helmet before returning her gaze to the curly-haired woman. "May I?"

Look at her, being civil. Julie almost felt proud of herself.
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#3
Two homeless wolves walk into a bar brewery, it sounded like the beginning of a cheesy but very 'dad joke' like way to earn an eye roll or two but if it was a joke it certainly didn't look like it. Your traditional vagrant didn't often include clean fashion forward styling and another with armoured motorcycle pants and a fitted leather jacket to go along with the full face helmet that had now found itself in the way by occupying a seat.

Unrefined senses hadn't given her the heads up in that she was being quietly watched from one of the tables in the back but she did at least hear the woman approach when she got nearer, taking her eyes off her phone she looked up at her and for a moment half expected to immediately be run off but was surprised when it was less aggression and more on the friendly side. A look of confusion crossed her expression for a heart beat before she realized what the intention was.

 "Oh,right yes. Sorry."

Reaching from under the table she grabbed the helmet by the chin guard and relocated it to fit neatly under her own chair. She'd been isolated from nearly the beginning of the four legged side of things that she was never quite sure of the rules or stipulations that came with it, more or less it had become a game of learning through mistakes. She did at least have enough communication with the wolf to feel the optimistic yet cautious warning from her own wolf and with her more blunt nature immediately spoke on it.

 "Am I okay being here? I didn't realize what this was until I walked in and then I didn't want to insult anyone or look like an idiot for leaving."

For a paramedic who thrived off of thinking hard and fast on the spot under stress she really did need more practice with not over sharing on explanations but still she spoke with a friendly tone and a smile to match so at least that was done right.
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#4
Julie smiled upon being warmly received. It was a pleasant surprise, all things considered.

"Thank you," she said, sitting down once the newcomer had grabbed her helmet and deposited it beneath her own seat.

For a brief moment, Julie couldn't help but admire the curly redhead's outfit; biker pants and leather jackets lent themselves to a particular look that could simply be described as badass. Yet, despite her fierce appearance, the rogue seemed a tad bit hesitant. Julie couldn't blame her for being cautious when treading in claimed territory.

The wolf within Julie was certainly curious, if nothing else. It wasn't often that she met a stranger.

Upon being asked whether the rogue was welcome here, Julie nodded softly. "It's all right, so long as you don't make trouble." Julie didn't feel it entirely necessary to reiterate what she thought was common sense, but some people benefited from it. The woman's friendly tone and warm smile was answered in kind, and Julie found herself feeling a little cheerful for it.

"I'm Julie, and you are?"
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#5
The smell from the kitchen was filtering through the seating area like a divine presence that was announcing something holy, as the minutes ticked past she was becoming more and more relieved in her choice to listen to the guy at the pumps. Hotel's where useful to use but their kitchen usually wasn't on par with what the local shops could pull off, even if you got to have the benefit of eating in your room.

Julie's straight forward response earned her a far more at ease table partner but the additional comment about not making trouble brought out an honest chuckle.

"I spend too much time cleaning up trouble for a living and have no desire to be the source of it."

Keeping your head and not being run out of town where also benefits of the upmost importance when you where hoping to be able to at least coexist or do better to the point where you could setup a new life. When Julie introduced herself she put the name to memory with the hope that this wouldn't be the last friendly encounter she had with her or otherwise.

"Alexis but I go by Alex. I think you're the first friendly face I've met in a while."

The guy at the gas station had been friendly enough but he hadn't been a wolf which so far made Julie the one and only but there was hope now, perhaps the rest of this pack would be more open to meeting her before they judged her a nuisance.
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#6
The redhead's chuckle brightened Julie's own smile, even though part of Julie wondered how friendly was too friendly when it came to rogue wolves in their territory. Some might have been far less friendly than Julie, but she didn't think that aggression was necessary, especially when the woman across from her expressed a desire to stay out of trouble.

Julie quickly dismissed the thought. There was no harm in a little conversation.

"I understand that," she remarked, reminded of her own line of work; refereeing and bouncing were forms of cleaning up trouble, were they not?

Once introductions were made, Julie offered a soft nod. "Alex."

Alexis was a beautiful name, but she admired the simplicity of going by Alex. When the curly redhead expressed how Julie was the first friendly face she had seen in a while, Julie's smile brightened a touch more. It wasn't often that Julie found herself smiling so much; Alex must have caught her in an exceptionally good mood. Perhaps it was due to Julie having just finished her meal combined with her wolf's curiosity of the stranger.

"I'm glad." Glad that she was the first friendly face Alex had seen? It didn't make as much sense in her head, but Julie didn't dwell on it for long. "Are you passing through?"

Such was Julie's guess, given Alex's biker attire and low profile.
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#7
Logistically there was definitely certain points to being weary of uninvited strangers on your turf, even if that meant coming on with a little edge of aggression when dealing with them. Not everyone who shows up at your front door was going to be friendly or safe to have around so Alexis would have understood if she had been sent away, nobody here knew her or could vouch for her so her presence would be a mystery until they sorted out who she was.

Both of their occupations certainly did run 'hand in hand' when it was broken down into it's core goals, Alex often cleaned up unruly patrons after they had gotten themselves into trouble with each other or the bouncers in the clubs so just maybe this truly wouldn't be a one time only meeting.

Food was always a good conductor of positive vibes and with a full belly it just made everything seem easier and very soon they'd both have the same benefit as the waitress came up and placed a meal in front of Alex, her stomach quietly rumbled in response but instead of eating right away she paused and answered the question.

"If I can find someplace safe to stay I'll stick around, if not ill have to rethink things."

There was no secret agenda going on, just a goal to find a new start or move on to the next city or small town with a big enough population to not be noticed. Glancing down at the plate in front of her she picked up a fry but waited before she ate it.

"Have you eaten yet? I don't want to be rude if you haven't and I've got a lot of fries."
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#8
Very short cameo for now. Will have her interact more later! :D


She watched from the bar, not intruding as Julie greeted the rogue, though she did listen in on their conversation. After so long, she trusted her pack members to make smart decisions and just generally have common sense. Julie usually proved that she had that in spades, so Alina was fine letting her handle the situation and see what was up. When she was needed, the Wolf King would find her way over to them but for now, she would continue tending to her patrons at the bar, making drinks as they were ordered and putting through any orders for food.
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#9
A full belly truly worked wonders in regards to lightening the mood, particularly among wolves. Once Alex's food came, Julie was willing to postpone their conversation for a few breaths so the woman could enjoy her meal. Yet, Alex was quick to answer Julie's question, to which Julie responded with a soft nod.

"I may be able to help with that."

She knew that life all too well, wandering in search of someplace safe to rest her head. It was a difficult undertaking for their kind, especially for rogues.

Upon being asked if she had eaten already, Julie smiled and nodded. "I have, but thank you." She didn't know of many wolves who were willing to share their food with a stranger, but she appreciated the sentiment all the same. Still, the young woman couldn't resist the offer of fresh french fries, plucking one from Alex's plate and eating it.

"Don't let me keep you from eating," Julie hummed. After all, it wasn't like she was short on time.
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#10
If there was ever a handbook written about “What to do when you're a wolf”, Alexis was really behind on reading through it but it wasn't particularly her fault so much as it being a situation of circumstance. The wolf picked up on being watched but this time she made it far more clear, a persistent pressure but couldn't quite communicate it better then “Look around!”. Alex glanced over to the right but really wasn't sure what shes was supposed to be looking for so it lasted all of two seconds before her full attention was back on Julie.

The simple suggestion that Alex could get a little help with finding some place safe was beyond intriguing and certainly wasn't going to be an opportunity to pass up, even if it was only a little insight into the in's & outs of who to avoid and anything beyond that would have just seemed impossible based on how things had happened in the past.

"I couldn't thank you enough if you can."

She flashed Julie another smile and then plucked up a tasty crispy fry for herself while that touch of guilt for eating in front of someone subsided as she turned down the offer with the exception of a french fry. The possible enlightening news that she could help figure out a good start in finding a place to stay was elating, it would seriously help the odds of being able to find a job and actually have a life that did not involve jumping from one short stay in sketchy neighbourhoods to another.

"I think I'm starting to like this place."

Food, a friendly conversation and a possible lead on help would make it hard not to like this little brewery but she wasn't going to let herself get too wrapped up with it until it became a thing, too much could change between tonight and the next morning to set your hopes up.
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#11
Julie nodded along to Alex's expression of gratitude, her smile persistent.

"When you're finished, I can introduce you to the person who runs things here. She should be able to help you out."

The Spaniard was careful with her wording; speaking for the King wasn't something that she tried to make a habit of, but Julie was confident that Alina would see the same good in Alex that she did. Polite and sensible, the rogue didn't strike Julie as a menace by any stretch of the imagination.

A soft chuckle escaped Julie when Alex mentioned her growing fondness of the place. "It may be a little rough around the edges, but it's home."

Both the brewery and Cedar Creek benefited from such a description, Julie thought. Regardless, her thoughts soon returned to Alex, wondering what her story was. If Julie was certain of anything, it was that rogues were seldom rogues without some kind of story to explain them being such.

"How long have you been on the move, if you don't mind my asking?"
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#12
Fortunately there was no risk of misunderstanding that Julie would be able to make specific choices for the whole of this building or territory, Alexis may not have much experience with a pack but she still understood the ladder of authority and without the warning bells in the back of her head she had figured out that Julie was friendly but not the one in charge.

"Thanks, ill owe you one."

Stumbling into direction was probably not the best of plans so having Julie at least point her in the right direction was incredibly helpful, even if it turned out to be a civilized meeting where she was told to move on. After picking up the burger she took a few bites just before Julie continued on so once she was able she replied with a slight shrug.

"Nothing wrong with that, seen worse."

From the beginning when Julie had first introduced herself she had assumed that at some point the question would come up, it would probably always be a curiosity as to why a social 'being' would choose to go against nature and take a risk. She wasn't sure yet how much she wanted to divulge to a complete stranger but she could at least give her some cliff-notes to whatever questions did come up..

"Almost from the start so close to five years, wasn't exactly my choice but it was better then the alternative"

It wasn't a sore subject in the least and it was actually more seated as a positive event, it ended a shitty situation and opened up the potential for something better. Being out on your own wasn't all bad after all, especially since she had a career that was easily transferable in various cities or towns.
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#13
Julie smiled at Alex's remark that she would owe her for Julie's help.

"De nada."

It really was nothing; Julie had no reason not to help another wolf find a home, especially one that had given her such a good first impression. Although, the prospect of seeing places worse than Cedar Creek made Julie wonder. Just what exactly did Alex do? Where was she from to have seen neighborhoods worse than Mountainside's worst?

As much as she wanted to ask those questions and others, Julie kept them to herself for the time being and allowed the curly redhead to set the pace of their conversation.

From the sounds of it, Alex had only been a wolf for a couple years longer than Julie; the rogue had also been forced to take flight by circumstance, which Julie could most certainly relate to. "I know what that's like." She did in some sense, at any rate.

"I traveled for a while before I settled here."
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#14
She didn't have to think twice about the quick little Spanish remark from Julie but still found it a little intriguing that there was now a possibility that she had found herself talking with another bilingual wolf but she wasn't about to dig too much just yet, there would be time enough later (hopefully) to get to know her.

Bringing her attention back to the task of eating she took a few more bites of the burger and chased it by casually eating a couple of fries until her dinner buddy admitted that she had been out on the run for a while as well. The similarities had her wonder just how many of them spent time on the move and how many of them had similar stories?

"You've seen both sides then? Whats the pack like?"

She would like it very much to no longer need to stay on the run but she wasn't going to do that at the expense of her safety or sanity either, there was always that risk that the good things where only surface deep to hide the seedy under belly and she'd had enough of that surprise.
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#15
A nod was given to the first half of Alex's questioning remark. Having been a rogue herself for a time, Julie could empathize with the curly redhead; it wasn't an easy life, never staying in one place too long. Then Alex asked about the pack, and Julie considered her answer for a moment.

"We're an easygoing lot, not much tends to happen," she began, "We take care of our own, stay out of trouble when we can."

What one considered trouble likely varied from one wolf to the next, but seldom did news reach Julie's ears of anything truly catastrophic befalling any of her packmates.

"What is it that you do?"

Julie was curious, wondering how the curly redhead might possibly fit into things; from what she had seen from Alex already, the Spaniard could easily imagine her as part of the pack. Still, it was a bit early to be making too many assumptions.
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#16
'Easygoing' was a word that brought much improvement from the last (and only) pack that she had experience with and pending on if it was true to reality she could potentially see herself getting along well with a bunch of relaxed wolves or in the very least co-existing if they gave her permission to stay, she may even be able to help them on occasion if trouble found them.

"Sounds all too much like a normal life. Imagine that."

Normality in the past had meant a very different thing and her professional skills had been called on beyond any normal standards from turbulence from within the pack itself, she was certain at this point that it wasn't the ideal example and that also meant she had no real starting point as to how a stable pack functions.

Julies inquiry into just what it was that Alexis did for a living was one she had expected, it had always been a point of interest for even the humans who she had crossed paths with and it at least gave her a good enough cover as to how she could afford to 'travel' so much without needing to bring up the family money.

"I've made the unfortunate choice to be a paramedic so if nothing else, I'm useful."

There was a little hint of a self aimed joke when she said it and the half little grin was probably enough to give away that it wasn't so 'unfortunate', even if there where some tough calls or bad nights she still enjoyed her job and it paid well enough to have a comfortable life without dipping into the trust fund.

Reaching to her right she picked up the glass of fresh water that the waitress had also brought along with the food and took a small sip before she snacked on the crispy fries.

"How about you?"
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#17
Alex's first remark warranted a huff. It did sound a bit too normal the way Julie had described it, but she simply called it like she saw it. Beyond the full moon, life typically wasn't that exciting, at least not for her. Whether any of Julie's packmates got up to trouble and caused mischief on a routine basis, the Spaniard couldn't say.

Then the curly redhead jokingly mentioned her line of work, and Julie matched her half-grin.

"That sounds exciting," she mused, "And useful, certainly."

Alex definitely looked like she could be a paramedic, not that Julie had met many of her profession. Any sort of medical expertise also went a long way among their kind; they couldn't exactly go to a hospital without raising suspicion.

When Alex asked what Julie did for a living, the Spaniard offered a modest shrug. "I referee." It wasn't the most straightforward answer, but Julie felt that it was a good summary of what she did. "I could show you sometime if you like."

The thought of Alex visiting the Cage amused Julie. Her offer also depended upon whether the curly redhead had any plans to stick around.
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#18
She didn't spare the grin for Julie's response to how it all sounded like normalcy, it gave away just enough to conform that their lives where still anything but normal but she liked the notion of it just the same. Work, visit friends/and/or interesting activities, sleep and repeat was her usual goal.

"It can be but it's not always puppies and kittens."

It was the hard truth, shes had many coworkers who couldn't handle it but the blood didn't much bother her in the same way that it did them and one could assume that little bit gave her an advantage. She hadn't ever really thought much into it but perhaps being a werewolf took down some of the shock factor when you had a presence in your head that went unfazed.

Julies reply stirred up some curiosity when she spoke about being a referee, her first thought was for football or some other team sport but it occurred to her that with all things considered it was probably a completely different direction.

"You're not talking about team sports are you? "

There was a soft chuckle at just the mental image of a bunch of werewolves getting serious about such games as badminton or bowling.

"I am kinda curious about this, I may take you up on that."

There was no doubt at all that the idea of a small in stature paramedic with curly red hair might seem out of place at such an event but looks where deceiving and she had far more of a background with it then what it would appear, no one here would know much about that half of her just yet though so for now it would probably be kept away for later.
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#19
Puppies and kittens—the image that came to mind elicited a smile. Still, there was truth to it; Julie imagined that paramedics saw their share of grisly scenes, tending to the wounded and offering some final comfort to those beyond saving. It must have been a difficult profession. In all due honesty, the Spaniard certainly couldn't see herself doing it.

At any rate, she wasn't left dwelling on that for long before Alex questioned what Julie had meant by refereeing. "No." She shook her head.

Her answer narrowed things down enough that Julie didn't feel the need to come out and say it.

Then the curly redhead expressed her curiosity, and Julie grinned. "It will be fun." Was it questionable of Julie to be making plans with the rogue? Quite possibly, but the Spaniard was confident that everything would pan out well.

"Where are you from? Originally."

While not exactly the most exciting turn of conversation, Julie was genuinely curious.
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#20
If she really thought about it made far more sense to allow a bunch of supernatural beings the opportunity to get things (whatever 'things' where) out of their system in a safe and controlled way then it would be to let them keep it pent up under a strict blanket of rules and stipulations. It probably helped cut back on internal strife through the pack itself to keep the peace, plus it could be fun to have it out with someone where you didn't necessarily need to hold back like you would sparing with a human.

"I'm starting to wonder what else i've missed out on."

She flashed Julie a grin with the response and then the shift in conversation from sport to place of birth became an interesting turn of things but it was another one she was used to, her accent was mostly gone now but for years it always popped up in conversation. Clearing her throat lightly she replied fluently in a short Russian response.

"Ja iz Russia"

It was simple enough that she wouldn't have to translate for Julie to figure out the jist of it but she wasn't going to speak the language beyond that, a little was fun but too much was rude.

"I've heard every joke in the book but it's all good, just don't bring vodka into it."

She wasn't at all serious about the last half of it but it seemed to be a common thing that came up the moment someone learned where her family was from so she usually tired to beat people to the punch line.
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#21
Alex seemed quick to catch on, which was a relief to Julie. Nothing was quite so tedious as people who needed or otherwise wanted everything spelled out for them; a bit of intuitiveness went a long way.

"It is pretty nice," Julie said, mirroring the grin was given.

The perks of finding a group, a pack to call your own were plentiful. Julie knew this firsthand.

When the topic of their conversation turned to the curly redhead's origins, Julie was surprised by the fluent response to her question. She hardly knew Russian, but there was no mistaking the mention of Russia in Alex's remark. Grinning at the knowledge, the Spaniard sought to offer a similar response.

"Soy de España."

It never ceased to entertain and intrigue Julie how easily people from all around the world could meet in this day and age. Here they were, a Spaniard and a Russian, having met in a Colorado brewery.

Alex's mention of vodka elicited a small chuckle. "It's the same with sangria." If Julie had a dollar for every time someone made a joke about Spanish wine after so much as hearing her rather Spanish accent, then the young woman wouldn't have to work another day in her life.
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#22
There was a chance it would seem that she wouldn't just have to take Julies word for it, if given permission to stay then she was going to get a chance to see for herself but she wasn't going to count that as a 'for sure' until at least a good 48 hours have past after being allowed to stay. Anything before that would be considered too good to be true.

The other women's response confirmed the earlier suspicion that she had stumbled into about her fellow transplanted table-buddy and maybe she would have to take it as a bit of a good sign in that it appeared to her that the pack seemed to be open to outsiders from those that where even from out of country.

"You understand then."

There was a touch of a cheeky grin as Julie added to things with the aforementioned Sangria, it was amusing that regardless of your birth place there was always something that folks could universally find to hit those stereotypes and try to use them to their own advantage.

"Are we the only transplants or are there more of us here?"
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#23
Oh, Julie understood all too well. Perhaps more annoyingly were those who mistook her Hispanic origins.

Regardless, she wore her heritage like armor; she made no effort to conceal her accent. Matching the grin that Alex gave her, Julie hummed softly and shook her head to the newcomer's question. "We have all sorts here. It doesn't matter where you are from."

It didn't seem to matter to Alina, and the King's opinion was the only one that really mattered to one as single-minded as Julie. At the end of the day, it was Alina who decided whether a rogue could join them.

"What brought you to America?" Julie's question was laced with curiosity; it shone in her gaze.

She felt that it was a fair inquiry. Few ever left their home country for no good reason, and she was interested in hearing of the curly redhead's.
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#24
She didn't mind the curiosity from her new friend and had no qualms about answering any of it, it was a fair enough question when you met someone who had travelled so far away from their country of birth.

"Officially?"

The answer to that one could be as simple or as in depth as she made it out to be and both would be correct, on the surface it was an easy enough answer to say that there was better schooling here and opportunity and it would have been the honest truth but for someone like Alexis it went beyond the surface.

"There are decent opportunities for schooling back home but America had better, my degree here can get me better options."

It probably seemed to some like an excuse considering it meant leaving her life behind and starting over in a country that was not her own but there was also the other half to things and that was a rather simple one. It was safer for her.

"Plus there's that added benefit that I wont get my ass thrown in jail for dating someone if I'm here."

There was a bit of a shrug that came with her last response but it was the state of things, it just simply wasn't all that safe right now. Russia was not in the least friendly towards its LGBT communities and it didn't look it was going to change anytime soon and considering that Alex wasn't one to hide it, there was a certain degree of danger involved. If circumstances back home ever changed then she may consider going back but she didn't see that happening anytime soon so it's never really been so much as a thought.

"What brought you out here?"
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#25
Officially, Alexis had come here for the better schools and opportunities. Julie understood that motivation quite well, even though she didn't share it herself. Regardless, the Spanish woman listened with great intent, offering a soft nod when her friend paused.

It wasn't much of an exciting explanation, but it was reasonable all the same.

Then the curly redhead mentioned the additional benefit of not having to worry about being arrested for dating someone, which inspired a bit of confusion from Julie for a moment. Why would she-

"Oh."

The realization struck Julie a moment later, and she tilted her head as a thoughtful expression replaced her previous confused look. Was Alexis gay? Did Russia really persecute others like that? Admittedly, Julie had been lucky in that regard; Spain was quite liberal regarding LGBT rights. Her curiosity only grew in strength, but she wasn't sure whether to probe further. Before she could ask any questions, however, Alexis turned the question back on Julie.

"My sister," she said, offering a casual shrug of her own. "She came here to be a doctor, and I would visit her as often as I could."

That was the shorthand explanation. There was also a nonchalant air to Julie's words; her voice carried less affection than one might expect from someone when they spoke of family.
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#26
The moment of confusion that crept across Julie's expression wasn't hard to pick up on and it was sort of/kind of something she was used to at this point so she gave her a few more minutes to figure it out herself and the confirming 'oh'. There was a distinct lack of rejection at that point which meant this particular pack probably didn't have any sort of set prejudice and in turn offered up a hint that it could pass that deal breaker.

"Good family or the kinda of family that makes you want to pull your hair out?"

The equally nonchalant way that Julie answered it gave Alex the impression that things weren't particularly great at the moment on that front but she wasn't about to pry further then what the previous question had. Family was weird, they where given to you and for good or bad you got stuck with them. Alex wasn't really on bad terms with her own blood kin but she wasn't on the best with them either, they where still disappointed that she didn't go for doctor when she could have but at least being out here meant she didn't have to worry about them figuring out that whole gay thing. Keeping in contact but still at arms length was the name of the game for her but it was working so far and she wanted to keep it that way.

"Family always seems to get interesting, more so when you are like us I've found. I'm relieved mine are so far away at this point."
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#27
It was hardly logical for Julie to reject something about Alexis that they quite possibly had in common. As much as she wanted to explore that common ground, however, this didn't seem like the most appropriate time or the place for it. Also, the conversation was quick to move elsewhere, delving into the subject of family.

"The second one." The way Alex had phrased her question made the choice rather easy.

Regardless of her own familial relations, Julie was intrigued to listen to Alexis about her own, the Spanish woman's focus settling upon the curly redhead after a moment of straying off. A gentle nod was given in agreement to Alex's words. Julie understood all too well the consequences of keeping one's family close when they were human.

"Yeah." For a moment, a conflicted look darkened Julie's features, but it passed a moment later. "My sister made me what I am." Her words were hushed, barely audible above the din of the establishment, but she didn't doubt Alex's ability to hear her.

Why did Julie feel the need to share that little tidbit of information? Perhaps it was meant to reinforce the notion that family was indeed an interesting matter for their kind, although interesting probably wasn't the word Julie would use.
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#28
It wasn't uncommon for some struggle to be involved when you where only just figuring out who you where in a world where you fell outside the realm of 'normal' (especially in their lives) and it could be helpful to have a 'sounding board' with someone who had already gone that direction but Julie was certainly right that a crowded pub probably wasn't the best place to go about it.

The other women's response indicating that there was some rough waters with her blood kin didn't overly surprise Alex, it wasn't uncommon and judging by the way in which she spoke it was a sore spot and it was confirmed soon after when Julie admitted that her sister had been involved in 'introducing' her to this life.

"Everything that glitters isn't gold. It's a Russian proverb, It roughly means not everything that is bright has great merits or value."

Family was supposed to be a beacon, a support system but not everything was so simple as that and more often people could find themselves having to deal with family issues that should never have been.

"This setup doesn't seem so bad as a trade off, perhaps even a pack could be family?"

She did not have much experience with the details about pack life but what she did know was that they where supposed to have your back and be there when you needed help or just to hangout with and to her that sounded very similar to what family was supposed to be. When you where a wolf you may lose some traditional connections but there where some pretty good alternatives around if you accepted it.
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#29
Intrigued by the proverb that Alexis shared and elaborated upon, Julie lifted her brows; she had heard of a saying that was similar, unaware of its Russian origins. "Yeah," she said, offering a steady nod as well, "Words to live by." Well, maybe not quite, but Julie wasn't sure of what else to add.

Regardless, there was wisdom there. Alexis had a good head on her shoulders—as if Julie wasn't convinced of it already.

When the curly redhead posed a question of her own, something of a smile spread across Julie's lips. "It could." That was the ideal their kind strove toward, driven by instinct and loneliness.

She met Alex's gaze and held it for a moment, blue eyes against green.

Then Julie glanced away, toward the bar. "I can introduce you to our leader, if you're ready." Mentioning the pack seemed like a good segue into introducing the rogue to their King, whom Julie figured was around here somewhere.
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#30
The look she got in return when she mentioned the proverb came across in a way that indicated she had heard it or something similar to it and that itself wasn't a surprise, there where many versions of these things in various countries but they all rang true. Not everything that appeared to be great on the outside had the same making beneath the surface and sometimes it was a hard lesson to learn.

"I'd say we should toast to that but it'll have to wait for another day."

Her job involved cleaning up after people who didn't wait so even with her metabolism, there was no convincing her that she could have 'just one' before driving out to the hotel.

The burger was gone by this point the tasty fries weren't far behind it so when the idea of meeting the lady in charge came up it arrived with the logical next step, time to find out if she was moving on or sticking around.

Eye contact was something that she had needed to be able to do for her job without the wolf freaking out so Julie's eyes on hers didn't stir trouble, the wolf certainly still noticed and paid close attention but seemed to withhold any negative reaction.

"Lead on."
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#31
"It'd make a good toast." As great as any toast Julie had ever made herself, anyway.

Being what they were, toasts were often varying degrees of awkward. Most of them inspired little more than a smile and a nod, but on occasion Julie raised her glass to one that felt meaningful rather than full of fluff. She also didn't mind the prospect of there being a next time, another day when she and the curly redhead might share a drink.

Perhaps if this next encounter went well, there would be a next time.

Alexis told Julie to lead on, and the Spanish woman was quick to do so. She rose from her seat, turning halfway towards the bar while Alexis did the same. Once they were both on their feet, Julie led her friend to the bar, blue eyes sweeping its length in search for the King.

The pack's sovereign wasn't easy to miss.

"Alina," she said upon her approach, rogue in tow, "Someone would like to meet you."

Julie then looked from Alina to Alexis, stepping aside so the curly redhead may introduce herself.
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#32
Work was mindless, but in a good way. While Alina didn't like people and wasn't the most social creature on the planet (despite the fact that her beast was actually quite social), this was work that she could do without batting an eyelash. To be fair, most anyone could, but whatever. She moved behind the bar with purpose, every so often leaving the confines of it to deliver a tray of food to a table; for the most part, she left the conversation Julie and the rogue were having alone. This would give her a chance to evaluate the judgement of character that the kid possessed; if Julie felt the wolf a good fit, Alina had no doubt she'd bring the rogue to her.

And she was not disappointed, sensing the approach of the two of them as she worked the bar. The Wolf King did not descend upon them, instead allowing Julie to garner her attention with a simple call of her name. Setting a plate of food down at the bar in front of a customer, Alina turned to the two of them, raising her eyebrows at the Kid for a moment before looking to the rogue and inclining her chin ever so slightly. Both a greeting and an assertion of dominance in one subtle, small movement.

"Alina Sinclair," She said, extending her hand over the bar to offer it to the wolf.
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#33
Food had probably been a prime choice to have been made at the forefront of the evening, aside from the fact that it had been surprisingly tasty it managed to fill that gnawingly increase of hunger that had been settling in all afternoon. Not one to leave behind uneaten food she had made sure to eat the last of the fries and clear the plate before she stood up with Julie, never to forget the helmet she plucked it up from under her chair and then made sure to leave enough cash for the bill and a good tip on the table.

Following the RR pack member through the collection of tables and chairs she remained her at ease self but couldn't help but wonder just who she was being lead to, the last (and only) one she had known had been far from likeable. It occurred to her that she didn't really know a whole much about anyone here (except from short conversation from Julie) so her usual ease slid away behind something that was far more alert and ready to bolt if needed. As Alina was called over her grip on the hard chin guard tightened in precaution and then just like that, she was offered a hand.

There was probably a good flash of confusion through her but she quickly realized it was a legitimate friendly gesture and in that few seconds proved to already be a better then the last. The wolf in her head certainly didn't miss the head nod and understood its importance but the human half wasn't so quick to pick up and probably gave away how little she had been guided by whoever had been involved in her past.

Extending her free hand she shook the woman's hand with her usual firm grip, habit from working in a male dominated line of work and then relaxed just a little.

"Alexis Ivanov. I kind of stumbled into your yard, I think my stomach leads me into these things."
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#34
There was something to be said about the commanding grace that the Wolf King possessed. Even in her current form, she conducted herself in a fashion that was almost more animal than human, each movement and gesture a nod to the beasts they shared. Julie's own wolf compelled her to stand attentively in Alina's presence, the young woman's posture straightened with her shoulders a little more squared.

Introductions were made, solidified with a handshake between Alina and Alexis. Although the rogue had seemed wary and confused at first, Julie was hopeful that the two got off on the right foot, as it were.

A gentle nod was given to Alex's explanation, something of a smile taut in the corner of Julie's lips.

Yet, Julie thought it best to let the rogue speak for herself. Alexis had certainly given the young woman a good impression, but she wasn't the one who needed convincing now. Julie had done her part by presenting the lone wolf to her King; it was out of her hands now.
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#35
The wolf’s grip was firm, just as Alina’s was, though neither of them turned it into some ridiculous match of strength or stubbornness. A quick, solid handshake and they both released leaving Alina to regard the female and focus on her.

"Maybe not stumbled so much as dove in head first." The slight smile signaled that she was joking somewhat. Or at least that she wasn’t mad that the rogue had waltzed right into their main hub. Better that than slinking around trying to go unnoticed.

"Give me a sec and I’ll take you back so we can talk." She grabbed the attention of a nearby bartender to instruct them to take over for her and turned to walk towards the door that led to the back of the house and through to her office. If Julie chose to follow, that was up to her but Alina opened the door to the office and gestured towards the couch, indicating that Alexis could sit.

"Any trouble following you? Anything I should know or be on the lookout for?"
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#36
Julie's presence certainly wasn't forgotten as the other woman became quiet after greeting Alina, there was a brief thought in wondering if that was the expected reaction in these parts but it was apparent enough after that she was just being polite and letting them talk.

Alina's interpretation was probably by far more accurate in that she certainly had unintentionally jumped in with both feet without really knowing much of anything about the place but so far it had been a good chance choice, at this point it would be good to either get permission or to be told to move on so she wouldn't be left in limbo and trying to blindly avoid going places she shouldn't be.

She waited as asked while Alina took a moment to cover her position at the bar and then followed the other woman to the back way to the office and since she hadn't gotten any red flags about the whole setup she seemed to settle into the idea that this was probably how these things where supposed to go. Turning her eyes on the couch that was indicated she sat herself down in it and dropped the motorbike helmet in her own lap while she considered Alina's question.

"No, not that I know of.. well, except maybe one but last time I saw him was when I broke his nose so he might have gotten the hint. That was years back though."
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#37
True to her expectations, Alexis and Alina seemed to get along well enough. The Wolf King found someone else to cover the bar before leading the two wolves to her office; Julie naturally followed, curious and inquisitive as she was. She also felt a little invested by that point, being the one who brought the rogue wolf to Alina in the first place. Perhaps the young woman's efforts would result in a new packmate being brought into the fold—how exciting!

Whereas Alexis was offered a seat on the couch once the trio had arrived in Alina's office, Julie remained standing, quiet and observant. Her King began with a reasonable question whether, asking the rogue if any trouble was on her tail.

Besides one guy whom Alexis graced with a broken nose, the curly redhead couldn't think of anything else.

Julie rubbed her own nose absently, reminded of her own experiences in that regard.

The urge to share with Alina all that she had learned of their visitor was certainly there, not at all helped by the sway Alina's wolf had over Julie's own, but the young woman stayed silent, allowing the other two to continue the conversation at their own pace.
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#38
 A glance was made in Julie's direction, eyebrows raised as she just... stood there. Okay. If she wanted to stand there, then she could do just that. It was a little strange but Alina didn't comment on it. Instead, her focus was back on Alexis, a small smirk pulling at her mouth. She could appreciate giving trouble exactly what it asked for, especially when it was asking for a fist to the face. That the rogue wolf had given him that, well. It meant that the two of them had something in common.

 At the small bar in the corner of the office, Alina poured herself a glass of whiskey, voice nonchalant as she laid down the law and offered the wolf her choice."Rogue wolves aren't allowed here as a general rule. They are a threat to the Pack's safety and well-being. That being said, our Pack is a family. We look out for one another, we help and protect one another, all that jazz. You can either join and be part of that family or you can stay out of Cedar Creek altogether. There won't be any hard feelings as long as you don't trespass."

 Lifting the glass to her lips, Alina took a sip and turned to look at Alexis, blue eyes trained on her and her alone. If she had questions, the Wolf King had no problem answering them but either way the rogue chose to go, an answer was expected before the night was out.
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#39
The basic concept of living in a pack wasn't difficult to figure out and had figured out the hard way that it also meant 'strays' weren't allowed to hang about and that part made sense, you didn't want supernatural drifters left running around unchecked to put your group at risk of being discovered or harmed. She never took that wide spread rule personal and had been good at avoiding (usually) established packs by sticking to lesser attractive areas but the notion of living in a populated area and not having to spend so much time scouting for trouble was an interesting one.

She had half expected Alina to tell her to keep on moving but the more casual way that she had poured the drink and spoke meant there was still options, her description of how the pack was family sounded so foreign compared to the only experience she had gotten but between Alina and Julie they where painting a nice picture.

"Whats the catch?"

She was a little suspicious about the whole offer and was almost waiting for the downside.

"If I join the pack, what's expected from me? I'm no free loader, I can patch up your fighters when needed but I still want my life. The last group I was with wanted a little slave."

It may have been an odd thing to say but getting herself trapped into another over bearing pack who wanted to control every step was not in her list of things to do.
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#40
Julie didn't miss the glance in her direction and the raised brow that came with it, shifting from one foot to the other. Was she supposed to say anything? The young woman wasn't entirely sure, but she couldn't think of anything to add that the Wolf King didn't already cover. Nodding along softly, particularly once Alina explained how the pack took care of its own, Julie simply watched and listened, albeit a little more self-conscious of her looming presence than before.

Yet, Julie couldn't help but tilt her head a bit when Alexis asked about a catch.

"Don't do anything stupid, and you should be fine," the young woman offered after a moment's thought, glancing between the two. At the mention of Alex's treatment by the last pack she was part of, Julie quickly shook her head. "It isn't like that at all here. We can find you work if you need it, but you are your own person."

It was strange to think about, a pack that was so tyrannical as to treat Alexis like that.

Regardless, Julie brushed the thought aside, her gaze set solely on the rogue for the time being, something of a hopeful expression on Julie's face.
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#41
Expecting slavery from their members seemed to be a recurring theme when it came to packs. It wasn't exactly common but it had been mentioned or encountered enough times that she knew it wasn't a one off.

Alina the Slave Driver. She snorted softly, immediately thinking the idea was ludicrous and demeaning. Her pack would never be like that. Julie spoke to this and Alina acknowledged that answer with a nod. While she didn't let anyone speak for her, the State of the Pack was something that her wolves could attest to. The same words coming from the Wolf King herself might not have meant as much.

"The catch is I don't tolerate bullshit. You fuck up, you're going to deal with the consequences. As a medic, you have a couple options, but actually I think you'd do some good at a clinic opening in the area. I can put you in contact with the person running it, if you're interested." She wasn't going to give all the details about it away now; it wasn't her business to tell, but surely Avery could use a Were with decent common sense and some medical expertise.

"Red River Pack has three leaders. Myself as King, Trick Cavanagh is the Queen, and Dante Orion is our Second. I can give you our numbers so that you have them. If you need get into trouble, you call. I don't care what it is. We don't allow Vampires on our land and if our allies need help, we do what we can. Said allies are basically each of the current Were groups in the city. Also, stay out of central Cordova. I don't give a fuck what your reasoning is — Stay out of it. Vampires have a kill order on any Were there." Was there anything she was missing? Maybe, but the most important stuff was covered, at the very least.
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#42
The shifty stance of the taller and quieter (up until that point) draw her attention away from Alina briefly but it was the woman's words that caught another consideration from the red head and with it came a jesting remark on the notion of 'not doing anything stupid'. Hopefully it wasn't too much of a subjective term but with Alina's additional comment on it, she couldn't really foresee them having any weird rules that wouldn't fall under common sense.

"I'll keep that in mind. No stupid shit."

Alex still had some reservations about the whole thing but she wasn't getting any red flags from either Alina or Julie so perhaps this was legitimate, the idea of not having to constantly look over her shoulder and being able to sleep in the same bed for more then just a few nights was winning her over.

Drifting her eyes back to Alina she waited until the woman had finished taking her last sip from the glass and then decided that she was letting an asshole in the past dictate her suspicions far too much and that staying here as part of the pack was probably the safest option she had gotten in years. Time to take a chance.

"Alright, where do I sign up?"

Figuratively speaking, she wasn't sure what official measures there where for this sort of thing but she doubted it actually involved signing anything. Julie's hopeful expression was encouraging and she certainly enjoyed toying with the idea that she could settle here and lead a life where it wasn't a risk to get to know individuals. The prospect of work was something she would have to think about, avoiding the core would mean less of a workload but it's not like she hadn't had similar restrictions before and she would very much like to avoid the dead. If she followed up on the clinic it could negate all the risks of running into one and that was quite the deal.
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#43
Once more, Julie nodded along to Alina as the woman gave a more thorough explanation of what she expected from members of the pack. It was all rather straightforward in Julie's opinion, common sense being the rule of law for the most part. By the time her King had finished, the young woman returned her attention to Alex, who seemed to have a clear understanding of the information that lay before her. Then the rogue asked where to sign up, and a smile cross Julie's lips.

"Excelente," Julie said, pleased with the outcome of this evening's encounter.

Moreover, the Spaniard felt proud of herself for the part she played in bringing another wolf into the fold, doing right by Alexis and the pack alike.
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